From USA Today Bestselling author Darcy Burke, your next Regency obsession: The Pretenders! Set in Burke’s popular world of The Untouchables, indulge in the saga of a trio of siblings who excel at being something they’re not. Can a dauntless Bow Street Runner, a devastated viscount, and a disillusioned Society miss unravel their secrets?
Book One: A Secret Surrender
A survivor of the mean streets of London’s East End, Selina Blackwell has learned to be a chameleon, and in her current iteration as a fortune-teller, she’s able to provide a Season for her sister. Only, Madame Sybila can’t be a chaperone, so Selina takes on another identity as the proper Lady Gresham. But when a Bow Street Runner takes too much of an interest in her business, it seems the crimes of her past will finally come to light.
Determined to prove that Madame Sybila is a fraud bent on fleecing London’s elite, Harry Sheffield enlists the help of the alluring Lady Gresham in exchange for introducing her to Society’s best. With his busy career and aspirations for the future, Harry has no time for marriage, but an affair is just right—until he discovers the lady’s disarming secret. Whatever his feelings for her, he can’t ignore who she is and who she’s been. And when she holds the key to the one case he couldn’t solve, he must choose justice or love.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Lies and deception
Shakespeare’s line about tangled webs and deception was my underlying thought as I read this story. Two characters, obviously attracted to each other, caught in many webs, both of their own making and those created by others. Question on how they could possibly get their HEA and solve the mystery of the fire, kept me turning page after page.
From the opening paragraphs, this story captured my imagination. Harry and Selina are not the typical characters you generally come across in Regency romances. Happily they are the independent focussed characters I’ve come to expect and admire from Darcy Burke’s books. Both of them are forced to re-evaluate their own assumptions with every truth that is revealed.
In an era where even petty crime could get you a one way ticket to the Australian colonies, Harry has a very modern view of criminality. “He’d always believed that criminals weren’t born as criminals. Circumstance played a large part in what people chose to do—what they had to”. I hoped that this was not just platitudes, but was ingrained in his being.
This book is a stand alone, but if you have read other books by Darcy you will
glimpse links to recent books.
(I read this first without the prologue. The addition in the final edit adds to the humanity of Selina.)